Antrim man Leonard Brereton, a volunteer with Action Cancer, has won a prestigious AONTAS STAR Award recognising the difference he makes to the lives of those with cancer.
The STAR Awards (Showcasing Teamwork, Awarding Recognition) are an awards initiative coordinated by AONTAS as part of the annual Adult Learners Festival to acknowledge the fantastic work undertaken by adult learning initiatives throughout Ireland. They celebrate the positive contribution that these initiatives make to individual adult learners, local communities and wider society.
Leonard, as part of a peer mentor group, received his award in the category of ‘Mentor Support for Cancer Patients and their Families’.
Leonard, who himself had prostate cancer in his 50s, said: “Being a Peer Mentor to me means being there for someone who is just starting out on the journey I am already on. It’s encouraging someone who may be struggling to come to terms with the changes that are happening in their lives right now and to be there when they need an honest one to one chat, to help them and their families with the problems that might arise. I feel privileged at having the opportunity to give something back and use my experience to help others.”
Action Cancer’s Peer Mentoring Programme is available to cancer patients and their families throughout NI. It is a confidential volunteer led support service that can be offered face to face or over the phone. Clients are matched to mentors who have been through their own cancer experience and are now through the other side.